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‘Strength Under Pressure’ at Foundation Lecture

 The latest instalment of the Stamford Endowed Schools Foundation Lecture series saw Major Chris Hunter QGM, deliver a lecture on the theme of ‘Strength Under Pressure.’ The Foundation Lectures are aimed at students, staff, parents and members of the local community and are designed to prompt discussion and debate on a broad range of issues. Major Hunter, who was the British Army’s most experienced counter-terrorist bomb disposal specialist in Iraq, spoke about the qualities needed to survive a job with such inherent risk. He talked of the need to use fear to your advantage, of the importance of working as a team, and of the skills needed to lead others.

Major Hunter recounted several specific incidents during his time in Iraq which exemplified the importance of these qualities, and how, such was his success in defusing the crude but deadly explosives, that at one point a price was placed on his head by the insurgents. Major Hunter’s experiences were gripping by nature, but also told in such a compelling way that the audience was enraptured from start to end. He then took questions from the floor and gave prizes of his signed books for the most insightful.

Will Phelan, Head of Stamford School, said of the lecture “The Foundation Lectures bring speakers to the Schools - and Stamford - who can expand our horizons by offering insight into unique and unusual experiences. Major Hunter’s talk certainly achieved this and the audience was privileged to hear what life is like in one of the most dangerous of professions. He spoke with great conviction on the characteristics needed to be a good leader and to remain an effective operator under great pressure. I’m sure that many of the pupils and those in the audience were able to take these lessons with them.”